Are you trying to cut down on costs but still finding yourself short of funds some of the time? The Tennessee Society of CPAs offers these simple solutions to help you eliminate unnecessary spending and pump up your budget power.
Take a Gift Card to Lunch
Everyday indulgences, such as a morning latte or a takeout lunch, are a lot more expensive than bringing
your own coffee or midday meal, but you may not have to give them up completely. Here’s one way to
treat yourself without overspending: Decide how much you can afford to spend at your favorite coffee
house or restaurant each month, then buy yourself a gift card for that amount from that establishment
at the beginning of every month. Use it whenever you want something special, but don’t allow yourself
any more splurges if the card runs out early. This way you’ll still be able to enjoy treats without busting
Drop Unused Channels
Do you spend a lot of time watching TV or are you paying for premium channels that you never even use
as part of your cable package? It may be smart to evaluate what you actually need when it comes to
television service. The average household is expected to pay $200 per month for pay TV by 2020,
according to the NPD Group. You could save yourself a nice amount each month by dropping any
unused premium channels or other services you don’t actually need.
Reassess Your Ride
When it comes to a car, is bigger always better? It cost $8,698 on average in 2015 to drive a typical
sedan 15,000 miles in a year, according to the AAA, $9,372 for a minivan and $10,624 for an SUV with
four-wheel-drive. Those numbers include average fuel, maintenance, tires, license and registration fees, taxes, depreciation and finance charges. If you’re wondering if that means that downsizing is best, check
out an information resource like Edmunds.com’s True Cost to Own® site to help you determine what
your likely annual costs will be for the makes and models that interest you.
Read more of this article and other Money Management columns on the TSCPA Website.
About Money Management
Money Management is a column on personal finance that is a joint effort of the AICPA and the
Tennessee Society of CPAs, as part of the profession’s nationwide 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy
program. Members of TSCPA are CPAs residing and practicing primarily in Tennessee in all areas of
public accounting, education, government, business and industry. TSCPA offers a speakers bureau for
many types of business and educational engagements. For details, visit www.tscpa.com. TSCPA is
headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn.
Copyright 2016 The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.